eARC Review – Too Good to Be Real by Melonie Johnson


Title: Too Good to Be Real

Author: Melonie Johnson

Publisher: St Martin’s Griffin

Publication date: July 6th, 2021

352 pages

4/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

She plans to prove there’s a dozen reasons why life isn’t like a romantic comedy, only to discover the one reason it is…

While her friends wish for meet cutes worthy of their favorite rom-coms, Julia is ready to give up on love. Swiping right has replaced getting swept off your feet and good old-fashioned romance has become, well, old-fashioned.

A writer for a popular website, love becomes the last thing on her mind when impending layoffs threaten her job. As Julia searches for the ultimate pitch to impress her boss, she stumbles upon a resort offering guests a chance to live out their romantic comedy dreams. Real life dating is so bleak, who wouldn’t want to spend a week in a fantasy rom-com world with your best friends?

At the resort, Julia literally falls into a not-quite-meet-cute involving an aggressive seagull and an adorably awkward guy named Luke who is also participating in the rom-com experience. Julia hides the fact she is there to do a story, but Luke harbors a few secrets of his own. Among further encounters with thieving seagulls, a gaggle of corgis, kisses in the rain, and even a karaoke serenade, their feelings deepen quickly. But could their love be real when they haven’t been honest about their true identities? Once the fantasy is over, can they have a relationship in the real world?


Too Good to Be Real is a new rom com that follows three friends as they stay at a recent designed to make it seem like they are in a rom com movie! Julia is assigned to review the experience for the website she works for, and Luke is the game master who created the simulation – but when they meet, they both lie and who and what they are. This doesn’t stop them from forgetting they’re living in a simulation…

This was such a cute concept for a book. I really enjoyed the characters the most, there were a lot of background characters that really brought this story to life. It was so fun to see the rom com movie references throughout the book and the attention to detail. The characters all also go through a great deal of growth, even down to the background characters. I hope there are more books about Julia’s friends, Kat and Andie.

I personally would have wanted a different ending. I don’t feel like it was consistent with the characters and the rest of the story. But that’s the only part I would change if it were me. I just wanted more for the characters.

Also, I personally adore corgis which is why I requested this book in the first place, but there are a lot of corgis in the story as well!

Thank you to St Martin’s Griffin and Netgalley for an early copy in exchange for an honest review.

Happy reading, folks!

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